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Evading or Refusing to Stop for the Police

What Does it Mean to Refuse to Stop for Police?

Refusing to stop for police or evading the police is an offence under section 216 of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA). The severity of the penalty will depend on the facts of a case. You may be charged for a failure to stop if the following elements are present in your case:

  • while you were driving, you willfully attempted to evade the officer;
  • you knew the officer was trying to get you to stop and pull over;
  • you continued to drive with the intent to evade the officer;
  • the officer’s siren’s went off;
  • you saw or should have seen the lights;
  • the officer was driving in a distinctively marked car; and
  • the officer was in uniform.

If you did not notice the lights of a police car in your rear view mirror, it is possible that the officer will give you a warning. In any event, when a police officer requests that a person pull over, he or she is required to stop according to the law. This expectation remains even if the person believes the police officer had no justifiable reason to request the person to stop. So long as the police officer is able to demonstrate that he or she had probable cause of any law to request the stop, it is a legal request and compliance is expected. The best practice is to pull over and allow the officer the opportunity to explain the reason for the stop.

If an officer asks for basic information such as your driver’s licence, proof of insurance and registration, it is recommended that you provide these. After that, you have a right to remain silent and talk to a lawyer before you answer any questions posed by the police officer.


Refusing to stop for a police officer without lawful excuse can result in a variety of penalties including but not limited to a driver licence suspension, restitution and other fines, probation, community service and potential jail time. Specifically, anybody who fails to stop can be convicted of the offence and be subject to a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $10,000, to imprisonment for a term of not more than 6 months, or to both a fine and imprisonment. If you are convicted of wilfully evading the police, harsher penalties may be imposed. In particular, you could face a fine between $5,000 and $25,000 and a minimum imprisonment for a term of not less than 14 days and not more than six months. If any bodily harm or death is caused during the evasion, your driver’s licence could be suspended for five years, or 10 years to a lifetime along with demerit points to your driving record.


The offence of failing to stop for police is a strict liability offence. Accordingly, a defence of due diligence is available. If you can demonstrate sincere and mistaken belief that there were no police trying to stop you, and this is found objectively reasonable, you may receive a different or lesser serious penalty. Other defences may be available depending on your case and that is where the role of one of our lawyers at Aitken Robertson comes into play.

What Should I do if I am Stopped by a Police Officer?

If you are stopped by a police officer in a marked car for a traffic violation, keep in mind the following tips to increase your chances of avoiding a ticket:

  • Slow down and safely pull over as soon as possible to avoid being accused of evading the police officer
  • Remain calm and collected
  • Turn off the engine of the car
  • Keep both hands clearly in sight
  • Do not exit the vehicle unless instructed by the officer
  • Be respectful, courteous and non-confrontational
  • Comply with the officer’s demands
  • Do not volunteer information
  • Provide your driver’s licence, insurance, and registration
  • Ask for the officer’s name and badge number in a non-confrontational manner

How Can a Criminal Defence Lawyer from Aitken Robertson Assist?

Police officers are empowered by the law to execute their duties in the name of protecting members of the public. Our lawyers are knowledgeable with respect to employing an array of strategies to help you negotiate a plea bargain to get rid of the charges or to enter a plea for a lesser crime that carries a minimal penalty. Check out what our clients are saying about us in our reviews and then let us go to work for you!

Yasmine Al-Zaman

Yasmine’s patience, compassion and understanding allow her to work collaboratively and effectively with her clients. She appreciates the level of fear and confusion most people feel when confronted with the legal system. With that in mind, Yasmine puts her best foot forward to offer quality legal services.

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Some of Our Google Reviews

I had my first trouble with law couple of months and we found Edmund Chang. He helped me through all the process professionally moreover, he really cares about my best interest, he will check if I comfortable with all decisions we were going to make and if not, he will not push it. Other things that really stand out, he is approachable as well as responsive to follow up. In the end, we settled the case and I can move more
Krystal Stacy
17:19 15 Jun 18
I was charged with over 0.80 and Impaired Driving charges. I didn't think I had any chance, but Justin Marchant managed to get me out with a careless driving charge. Thanks to him, I don't have a criminal record!!! Very friendly, sharp, professional, and dedicated individual. He did a great job prepping me for the trial, and prepping for the case. I highly recommend this firm, as if it wasn't for them, I'm not sure what would have happened to my life. I made a nasty mistake, one which I will never ever make again. Some lessons have a big price to be more
Sean Jamali
15:20 07 Jun 18
Recently I was charged with over .80, Justin Marchand help me WIN this charge, from the moment I contacted him, he was very professional and upfront, He always responded to my calls and answered all my questions, He prepared me really well before trial. I would 100% recommend him and his team, Job Well done… “Sometimes good people make mistakes”read more
17:16 07 Jun 18
Mr. Marchand is an amazing lawyer. He is very personable and professional. My case was a very long and drawn out case, but Mr. Marchand always kept up with everything and I was always well informed. I really appreciated that he would take the time to fully explain his thought process/strategy and was never condescending. Even though this was a stressful time, Mr. Marchand made it a great experience and took care of more
Rochelle Jenifer
17:30 15 Jun 18
Once again amazing ! I am writing this review as I always refer my friends to this firm. THEY ARE THE BEST ! My friend was pulled over at the us border on a random check and in turn got charged with a refusal. My friend did not know that refusing to take a breathalyzer was a criminal offence. In fact as soon as he realized it he asked the officers to take it but they refused him. In turn he was charged with a refusal. Aitken Robertson specializes in DUI and cases such as this.. so it was an immediate call to them that i put in for him. Right then and there they took over. As usual, they offered a payment plan and of course they took care of everything all the pre-trial meetings etc. Justin was the laywer for him and not only is he the MOST thorough he is the most out for justice. He found the errors that the officers made and he used it to my friends advantage. He went above and beyond to find the best resolution with the crown. He went above and beyond to give my friend all his options. And the best part is that NO CRIMINAL CHARGES. It was reduced basically down to a speeding ticket as a result of Justins hard work. The whole firm is stellar. They take time to go through your disclosure to confirm any and all details are correct.The justice system is a corrupted one and im thankful these lawyers know how to find a way to help us through that. Justin once again did an amazing job. Susan at the firm is great she helps out with payment plans etc. Brenda is great. Robert of course its just a great team of laywers. Do not go anywhere else ! I will recommend them time and time more
19:28 26 Jun 18
When my daughter's boyfriend had a problem I looked up Jordan Tekenos-Levy. Jordan did an amazing job defending this young man. He showed compassion and care in a very sensitive issue. Jordan is a great lawyer, he fights hard for his clients and ensures their loved ones are kept in the loop during the entire process. He is honest and doesn't sugar coat the situation. I would highly recommend his services. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude and I wish him all the best in the more
Laurene Smith
02:58 16 Nov 18
I was falsely accused of a crime and I sought out representation. I did not know exactly where to go, I was in a panic as I've never seriously run afoul with law enforcement. Mr. Nathan Baker and his staff were assigned to my case, and I am thankful that they were. Knowing I was innocent I still was worried about how everything was going to play out as I wondered 'how could this even be happening'. Mr Baker and his staff helped walk me through the court process that was completely unfamiliar to me, besides what Id seen on television. It was a two year process, and every step of the way all my questions and inquisitions were answered and put at ease. I give this Firm my full endorsement, they believed in me, supported my case and followed through on every detail pertaining to it, and defended me to a correct Not Guilty verdict. For that I will be forever grateful. I've never had the need for an attorney to represent me before the false accusation, and I hope I never need it again. But if I do, I'd want this firm to represent more
Zak Piva
03:06 28 Oct 18
I would like to thank the lawyers at Aitken Robertson especially Philip Stiles and Lavina Inbar for helping me thru this most difficult time.Everyone i was in contact with were very polite and professional.Being a very high stress time of my life i could not have been happier to hear a "Not Guilty " verdict.I will always recommend Aitken Robertson to anyone i hear of needing a good lawyer.Thank you all very muchMauriceread more
Maurice Flight
20:22 31 Oct 18
Justin provided thorough and caring representation for my friend who had a court proceedings. I would recommend Justin and the Aitken Robertson team to anyone in a similar situation. Thanks!
Rexy H
19:26 08 Sep 18
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